Betrayal too hard for boyfriend to overcome
Dear Neil: Ive been in an on-and-off again relationship with a man I have two children with. I love him dearly and I want to be with him. But he wants to leave in order to determine what he really wants from our relationship and how he feels about me. Hes having a hard time dealing with the past. I had an affair with his brother, and he cant get past it. I love him, and he means the world to me. Please help. Lostlove in Baltimore, Maryland
Dear Baltimore: You are describing a double betrayal to your boyfriend by both you and his brother. Virtually no one would find that easy to handle. Express regret for hurting and betraying him. Do not justify or explain your behavior, and dont defend what you did. Then ask him what he would need or what you could do in order for him to give you one more chance to be a loyal, loving and faithful partner. If he still cant come back to you, or come toward you, the chances are that too much damage has been done, and he cant let go of the ghosts of the past and forgive you.
Dear Neil: My boyfriend and I have been together for nine months. Every time there is a problem, he gets mad and calls me names. Then he says hes sorry, that he does indeed love me. He does this every time that there is a problem. I dont know what to think. He breaks up when things dont go his way. He doesnt act loving with me as much as I would like. Should I find someone that is going to give me what I want? He is a good guy, its just that I want someone who is more emotionally there for me. Help Me
Dear Help Me: A man who is disrespectful and who fights dirty may or may not love you, but youre certainly not going to feel loved by him, and you can bet the farm that youre going to feel controlled and manipulated by him that you have to be perfect and do everything his way in order to be treated well and valued. It sounds as if youve answered you own question. If you want somebody more emotionally present, let the boyfriend go and go find what it is you want. Everyone including you deserves to be wanted, valued, cherished and treated well.
Dear Neil: I am a single mom of three children. I met a man about a month ago. We are both Christian/Baptist and share the same values. One night we started to get intimate, and I stopped us because I thought it might be too soon. We had only been out on a couple of dates and I wanted to wait. He said he understood and promised to call me-but never did. Then he sent me an e-mail saying that he felt incredibly guilty over his behavior. He feels that, being the man, he should have had more self-control, should not have put us in such a compromising position. He said he needed to step away from the relationship with me until God could give him more self-control, and until then he wont return my phone calls or e-mails. I really started to fall for him and now I dont know what to make out of it. Is it possible he is telling me the truth? What should I do? Heartbroken in Texas
Dear Texas: Some very religious people do adopt the stand that youve described, and there is no harm in trusting that he is telling you the truth. But we know he is saying no to you, because hes saying he wants no contact with you, and no contact destroys a budding romance, a budding friendship and a budding relationship. He may not be saying to you. He may be saying no to the normal, erotic sexual energy that two people generate.Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Boulder. He can be reached at 303-758-8777 or by e-mail through his Web site, http://www.heartrelationships.com.